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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:53 pm
Posts: 32
Hi, have just started going back over some comprehension papers with DD. I know it is impossible to guess the format of the exam this year, but in the past has the comprehension usually been multiple choice format? Really hoping so as DD tends to want to write War and Peace rather than just get to the answer! Does anyone think it is likely that it will be comprehension where long answers are required?

Thanks ever so.

PS - did anyone watch the programme on schools last night - gave me butterflies! all seems to be becoming far too real now.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:09 pm 
With 4000+ papers to mark, it is not practical to have anything but multiple choice comprehension. Marking anything else would take too long.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:34 am 
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phew! thanks fm. Just letting the panic set in I think. Deep breath.....


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:52 am 
Don't worry, panic is a normal state of being for many parents at this time of year. Just keep it away from the children because they need clear heads for this exam.

If it is any consolation, I have few state pupils who can do a decent Bond-style comprehension either but the smart ones can do multiple choice well enough. So, even if it is not multiple choice, your child is possibly no worse off than the vast majority of children sitting this exam. And, if it weren't multiple choice, it would have to be one word answers because the moment you get into sentence answers, the same person would have to mark all 4000 papers to ensure consistency, and I don't think you'd find anyone willing to trudge through 4000 comprehensions, no matter how much you were willing to pay them.

The watchword for this stage of the game is 'praise'. Praise them, then praise them some more. Shrug off any bad test results. Say something like 'I've heard from others that that is a really hard paper'. And whatever you do, listen to them if they say they are too tired to do work because it is usually true and they will write rubbish and then you will get anxious/annoyed, making them feel bad and defensive.

From many years of tutoring for this test, I have concluded that one of the key factors to success is how well the parents handle their children during the process.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:33 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 30, 2009 12:06 pm
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Location: Birmingham
I agree that the Bond 5th papers are ridiculously hard - my son is an avid reader and - I thought - good at comprehension, but they reduced him to a wreck. I would often be confused at the questions in 5th papers myself and I'd considered my English to be a strength! He did however say that the exam comprehension was much easier, if that is any consolation. I would say that encouraging him to read widely and talk about what he has read, is also good prep.

RE the program - we don't have TV but I watched both episodes yesterday on iplayer. Very emotional - especially as ds was sitting next to me in his CH uniform!


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:07 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:53 pm
Posts: 32
Thank you all so much for the advice. Really reassuring. Have told DD that we are incredibly lucky that we have such good local comps, so really we can't lose either way. She seems really relaxed about it all, so fingers crossed for the right result for her, whatever that may be. When I stand back and look at it objectively, I really think I could see her doing really well at our local comp, so hopefully this may just give her some choices. Am bigging it up in any case!

Thanks again.

PS - it must have been like living it all over again for you watching the Big School Lottery - think I would have got through a box of kleenex!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 10:18 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:26 pm
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Location: Redditch, Worcs
So the comprehension wont include questions like
' explain in your own words...'
'why do you think'

Thats very interesting if true. Ive been lulled into believeing the Bond books are what the exams will be like. And the content for the Bond comprehensions are both tricky and boring for kids. (**** stories , for goodness sake )


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